The need to optimize vaccine potency while minimizing toxicity in healthy recipients has motivated studies of the formulation of vaccines to control how, when, and where antigens and adjuvants encounter immune cells and other cells/tissues following administration. An effective subunit vaccine must traffic to lymph nodes (LNs), activate both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and persist for a sufficient time to promote a mature immune response. Here, we review approaches to tailor these three aspects of vaccine function through optimized formulations. Traditional vaccine adjuvants activate innate immune cells, promote cell-mediated transport of antigen to lymphoid tissues, and promote antigen retention in LNs. Recent studies using nanoparticles and other lymphatic-targeting strategies suggest that direct targeting of antigens and adjuvant compounds to LNs can also enhance vaccine potency without sacrificing safety. The use of formulations to regulate biodistribution and promote antigen and inflammatory cue co-uptake in immune cells may be important for next-generation molecular adjuvants. Finally, strategies to program vaccine kinetics through novel formulation and delivery strategies provide another means to enhance immune responses independent of the choice of adjuvant. These technologies offer the prospect of enhanced efficacy while maintaining high safety profiles necessary for successful vaccines.
Tyson J. Moyer, Andrew C. Zmolek, Darrell J. Irvine
Mitochondria are a distinguishing feature of eukaryotic cells. Best known for their critical function in energy production via oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), mitochondria are essential for nutrient and oxygen sensing and for the regulation of critical cellular processes, including cell death and inflammation. Such diverse functional roles for organelles that were once thought to be simple may be attributed to their distinct heteroplasmic genome, exclusive maternal lineage of inheritance, and ability to generate signals to communicate with other cellular organelles. Mitochondria are now thought of as one of the cell’s most sophisticated and dynamic responsive sensing systems. Specific signatures of mitochondrial dysfunction that are associated with disease pathogenesis and/or progression are becoming increasingly important. In particular, the centrality of mitochondria in the pathological processes and clinical phenotypes associated with a range of lung diseases is emerging. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the mitochondrial processes of lung cells will help to better define phenotypes and clinical manifestations associated with respiratory disease and to identify potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
Suzanne M. Cloonan, Augustine M.K. Choi
Endothelial cells transduce the frictional force from blood flow (fluid shear stress) into biochemical signals that regulate gene expression and cell behavior via specialized mechanisms and pathways. These pathways shape the vascular system during development and during postnatal and adult life to optimize flow to tissues. The same pathways also contribute to atherosclerosis and vascular malformations. This Review covers recent advances in basic mechanisms of flow signaling and the involvement of these mechanisms in vascular physiology, remodeling, and these diseases. We propose that flow sensing pathways that govern normal morphogenesis can contribute to disease under pathological conditions or can be altered to induce disease. Viewing atherosclerosis and vascular malformations as instances of pathological morphogenesis provides a unifying perspective that may aid in developing new therapies.
Nicolas Baeyens, Chirosree Bandyopadhyay, Brian G. Coon, Sanguk Yun, Martin A. Schwartz
Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are harbingers of tumor-induced immune suppression: they carry immunosuppressive molecules and factors known to interfere with immune cell functions. By delivering suppressive cargos consisting of proteins similar to those in parent tumor cells to immune cells, TEX directly or indirectly influence the development, maturation, and antitumor activities of immune cells. TEX also deliver genomic DNA, mRNA, and microRNAs to immune cells, thereby reprogramming functions of responder cells to promote tumor progression. TEX carrying tumor-associated antigens can interfere with antitumor immunotherapies. TEX also have the potential to serve as noninvasive biomarkers of tumor progression. In the tumor microenvironment, TEX may be involved in operating numerous signaling pathways responsible for the downregulation of antitumor immunity.
Theresa L. Whiteside
HIV persistence in patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy is a major impediment to the cure of HIV/AIDS. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying HIV persistence in vivo have not been fully elucidated. This lack of basic knowledge has hindered progress in this area. The in vivo analysis of HIV persistence and the implementation of curative strategies would benefit from animal models that accurately recapitulate key aspects of the human condition. This Review summarizes the contribution that humanized mouse models of HIV infection have made to the field of HIV cure research. Even though these models have been shown to be highly informative in many specific areas, their great potential to serve as excellent platforms for discovery in HIV pathogenesis and treatment has yet to be fully developed.
J. Victor Garcia
A substantial research effort has been directed to identifying strategies to eradicate or control HIV infection without a requirement for combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). A number of obstacles prevent HIV eradication, including low-level viral persistence during cART, long-term persistence of HIV-infected cells, and latent infection of resting CD4+ T cells. Mechanisms of persistence remain uncertain, but integration of the provirus into the host genome represents a central event in replication and pathogenesis of all retroviruses, including HIV. Analysis of HIV proviruses in CD4+ lymphocytes from individuals after prolonged cART revealed that a substantial proportion of the infected cells that persist have undergone clonal expansion and frequently have proviruses integrated in genes associated with regulation of cell growth. These data suggest that integration may influence persistence and clonal expansion of HIV-infected cells after cART is introduced, and these processes may represent key mechanisms for HIV persistence. Determining the diversity of host genes with integrants in HIV-infected cells that persist for prolonged periods may yield useful information regarding pathways by which infected cells persist for prolonged periods. Moreover, many integrants are defective, and new studies are required to characterize the role of clonal expansion in the persistence of replication-competent HIV.
Current efforts toward achieving a cure for HIV are focused on developing strategies to eliminate latently infected CD4+ T cells, which represent the major barrier to virus eradication. Sensitive, precise, and practical assays that can reliably characterize and measure this HIV reservoir and can reliably measure the impact of a candidate treatment strategy are essential. PCR-based procedures for detecting integrated HIV DNA will overestimate the size of the reservoir by detecting replication-incompetent proviruses; however, viral outgrowth assays underestimate the size of the reservoir. Here, we describe the attributes and limitations of current procedures for measuring the HIV reservoir. Characterizing their relative merits will require rigorous evaluation of their performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, etc.) and their relationship to the results of clinical studies.
Marta Massanella, Douglas D. Richman
Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) can suppress plasma HIV to undetectable levels, allowing HIV-infected individuals who are treated early a nearly normal life span. Despite the clear ability of ART to prevent morbidity and mortality, it is not curative. Even in individuals who have full suppression of viral replication on ART, there are resting memory CD4+ T cells that harbor stably integrated HIV genomes, which are capable of producing infectious virus upon T cell activation. This latent viral reservoir is considered the primary obstacle to the development of an HIV cure, and recent efforts in multiple areas of HIV research have been brought to bear on the development of strategies to eradicate or develop a functional cure for HIV. Reviews in this series detail progress in our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of viral latency, efforts to accurately assess the size and composition of the latent reservoir, the characterization and development of HIV-targeted broadly neutralizing antibodies and cytolytic T lymphocytes, and animal models for the study HIV latency and therapeutic strategies.
Janet D. Siliciano, Robert F. Siliciano
Current antiretroviral drug therapies do not cure HIV-1 because they do not eliminate a pool of long-lived cells harboring immunologically silent but replication-competent proviruses — termed the latent reservoir. Eliminating this reservoir and stimulating the immune response to control infection in the absence of therapy remain important but unsolved goals of HIV-1 cure research. Recently discovered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) exhibit remarkable breadth and potency in their ability to neutralize HIV-1 in vitro, and recent studies have demonstrated new therapeutic applications for passively administered bNAbs in vivo. This Review discusses the roles bNAbs might play in HIV-1 treatment regimens, including prevention, therapy, and cure.
Ariel Halper-Stromberg, Michel C. Nussenzweig
The apparent cure of an HIV-infected person following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from an allogeneic donor homozygous for the
Daniel R. Kuritzkes
HIV seeds reservoirs of latent proviruses in the earliest phases of infection. These reservoirs are found in many sites, including circulating cells, the lymphoid system, the brain, and other tissues. The “shock and kill” strategy, where HIV transcription is reactivated so that antiretroviral therapy and the immune system clear the infection, has been proposed as one approach to curing AIDS. In addition to many defective viruses, resting hematopoietic cells harbor transcriptionally latent HIV. Understanding basic mechanisms of HIV gene expression provides a road map for this strategy, allowing for manipulation of critical cellular and viral transcription factors in such a way as to maximize HIV gene expression while avoiding global T cell activation. These transcription factors include NF-κB and the HIV transactivator of transcription (Tat) as well as the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK13 and CDK11 and positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb). Possible therapies involve agents that activate these proteins or release P-TEFb from the inactive 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP). These proposed therapies include PKC and MAPK agonists as well as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) and bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) bromodomain inhibitors (BETis), which act synergistically to reactivate HIV in latently infected cells.
Daniele C. Cary, Koh Fujinaga, B. Matija Peterlin
After the success of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) to treat HIV infection, the next great frontier is to cure infected persons, a formidable challenge. HIV persists in a quiescent state in resting CD4+ T cells, where the replicative enzymes targeted by cART are not active. Although low levels of HIV transcripts are detectable in these resting cells, little to no viral protein is produced, rendering this reservoir difficult to detect by the host CD8+ T cell response. However, recent advances suggest that this state of latency might be pharmacologically reversed, resulting in viral protein expression without the adverse effects of massive cellular activation. Emerging data suggest that with this approach, infected cells will not die of viral cytopathic effects, but might be eliminated if HIV-specific CD8+ T cells can be effectively harnessed. Here, we address the antiviral properties of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and how these cells might be harnessed to greater effect toward achieving viral eradication or a functional cure.
R. Brad Jones, Bruce D. Walker
Insulin resistance arises when the nutrient storage pathways evolved to maximize efficient energy utilization are exposed to chronic energy surplus. Ectopic lipid accumulation in liver and skeletal muscle triggers pathways that impair insulin signaling, leading to reduced muscle glucose uptake and decreased hepatic glycogen synthesis. Muscle insulin resistance, due to ectopic lipid, precedes liver insulin resistance and diverts ingested glucose to the liver, resulting in increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis and hyperlipidemia. Subsequent macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue (WAT) leads to increased lipolysis, which further increases hepatic triglyceride synthesis and hyperlipidemia due to increased fatty acid esterification. Macrophage-induced WAT lipolysis also stimulates hepatic gluconeogenesis, promoting fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia through increased fatty acid delivery to the liver, which results in increased hepatic acetyl-CoA content, a potent activator of pyruvate carboxylase, and increased glycerol conversion to glucose. These substrate-regulated processes are mostly independent of insulin signaling in the liver but are dependent on insulin signaling in WAT, which becomes defective with inflammation. Therapies that decrease ectopic lipid storage and diminish macrophage-induced WAT lipolysis will reverse the root causes of type 2 diabetes.
Varman T. Samuel, Gerald I. Shulman
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response induced by an infection, leading to organ dysfunction and mortality. Historically, sepsis-induced organ dysfunction and lethality were attributed to the interplay between inflammatory and antiinflammatory responses. With advances in intensive care management and goal-directed interventions, early sepsis mortality has diminished, only to surge later after “recovery” from acute events, prompting a search for sepsis-induced alterations in immune function. Sepsis is well known to alter innate and adaptive immune responses for sustained periods after clinical “recovery,” with immunosuppression being a prominent example of such alterations. Recent studies have centered on immune-modulatory therapy. These efforts are focused on defining and reversing the persistent immune cell dysfunction that is associated with mortality long after the acute events of sepsis have resolved.
Matthew J. Delano, Peter A. Ward
The generation of an inflammatory environment is favorable and often decisive for the growth of both primary tumors and metastases. Tumor cells either express membrane molecules or release tumor-derived soluble factors able to alter myelopoiesis. Tumor-reprogrammed myeloid cells not only create a tolerogenic environment by blocking T cell functions and proliferation, but also directly drive tumor growth by promoting cancer stemness, angiogenesis, stroma deposition, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and metastasis formation. In this Review, we discuss the interplay between immunosuppressive and protumoral myeloid cells and detail their immune-regulatory mechanisms, the molecular pathways involved in their differentiation, as well as their potential role as prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers and prospective targets for innovative approaches to treat tumor-bearing hosts.
Stefano Ugel, Francesco De Sanctis, Susanna Mandruzzato, Vincenzo Bronte
Cancer development and its response to therapy are strongly influenced by innate and adaptive immunity, which either promote or attenuate tumorigenesis and can have opposing effects on therapeutic outcome. Chronic inflammation promotes tumor development, progression, and metastatic dissemination, as well as treatment resistance. However, cancer development and malignant progression are also associated with accumulation of genetic alterations and loss of normal regulatory processes, which cause expression of tumor-specific antigens and tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) that can activate antitumor immune responses. Although signals that trigger acute inflammatory reactions often stimulate dendritic cell maturation and antigen presentation, chronic inflammation can be immunosuppressive. This antagonism between inflammation and immunity also affects the outcome of cancer treatment and needs to be considered when designing new therapeutic approaches.
Shabnam Shalapour, Michael Karin
Twenty-five years after its inception, the genetic engineering of T cells is now a therapeutic modality pursued at an increasing number of medical centers. This immunotherapeutic strategy is predicated on gene transfer technology to instruct T lymphocytes to recognize and reject tumor cells. Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are synthetic receptors that mediate antigen recognition, T cell activation, and — in the case of second-generation CARs — costimulation to augment T cell functionality and persistence. We demonstrated over a decade ago that human T cells engineered with a CD19-specific CAR eradicated B cell malignancies in mice. Several phase I clinical trials eventually yielded dramatic results in patients with leukemia or lymphoma, especially acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This review recounts the milestones of CD19 CAR therapy and summarizes lessons learned from the CD19 paradigm.
Major progress has been made toward our understanding of the programmed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 (PD-1/PD-L1) pathway (referred to as the PD pathway). mAbs are already being used to block the PD pathway to treat human cancers (anti-PD therapy), especially advanced solid tumors. This therapy is based on principles that were discovered through basic research more than a decade ago, but the great potential of this pathway to treat a broad spectrum of advanced human cancers is just now becoming apparent. In this Review, we will briefly review the history and development of anti-PD therapy, from the original benchwork to the most up-to-date clinical results. We will then focus the discussion on three basic principles that define this unique therapeutic approach and highlight how anti-PD therapy is distinct from other immunotherapeutic approaches, namely tumor site immune modulation, targeting tumor-induced immune defects, and repairing ongoing (rather than generating de novo) tumor immunity. We believe that these fundamental principles set the standard for future immunotherapies and will guide our efforts to develop more efficacious and less toxic immune therapeutics to treat human cancers.
Lieping Chen, Xue Han
The relationship between cancer and the immune system is complex and provides unique therapeutic opportunities. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is a regulatory molecule that suppresses T cell effector function following initial activation by costimulatory signals. Fully human monoclonal antibodies targeting CTLA-4 have been shown to increase T cell function and antitumor responses in patients with advanced metastatic melanoma. Responses observed with such immune checkpoint therapy can follow a different pattern from that seen with cytotoxic chemotherapy or targeted therapy and may continue after therapy is discontinued. In addition, the toxicities that are associated with anti–CTLA-4 therapy may differ from those of conventional therapies and consist of inflammatory events in parts of the body that do not contain cancerous cells. Early recognition of these inflammatory events and intervention is important, and the identification of predictive biomarkers continues to be an unfulfilled need in the field of immunotherapy. Combinatorial approaches with targeted therapies, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other immune checkpoint agonists/antagonists have the potential to increase the efficacy of CTLA-4 blockade.
Elizabeth Buchbinder, F. Stephen Hodi
The recent clinical successes of immune checkpoint blockade and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies represent a turning point in cancer immunotherapy. These successes also underscore the importance of understanding basic tumor immunology for successful clinical translation in treating patients with cancer. The Reviews in this Review Series focus on current developments in cancer immunotherapy, highlight recent advances in our understanding of basic aspects of tumor immunology, and suggest how these insights can lead to the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies.
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